Rock-a-Bye Orca

Some babies just never sleep--never!

10-01-2005 // Hannah Schardt

IMAGINE CARING for a baby that just won't go to sleep--for an entire month. That's the tough task of orca and bottlenose dolphin mothers, according to University of California–Los Angeles/Veterans Affairs researchers. Unlike other mammals, newborn orcas and bottlenoses are active 24 hours a day for their first month, probably to keep warm and avoid predators. Their mothers also stay awake--and surprisingly alert. Later, when the mothers start to return to their normal sleep schedules, their offspring often stay up but stick close to mom.

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